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Improving Access to MRI through Central Intake

Lower Mainland Medical Imaging (LMMI) has initiated a project to centralize intake for outpatient MRI referrals across Vancouver Coastal Health, Providence Health Care and Fraser Health.

What is MRI central intake?

MRI central intake will provide referring clinicians with a central fax number to direct outpatient MRI referrals for 11 MRI sites across the lower mainland. A regional central intake office will be established to receive all outpatient MRI referrals. This will enable patients to be booked at the most appropriate lower mainland MRI site with the shortest wait time. Referring clinicians will be able to indicate a preferred MRI site on the requisition if desired. An updated regional MRI requisition form will be introduced to support the project.

What are the benefits of central intake?

Central intake for MRI supports the objectives of the provincial MRI strategy to provide timely and equitable access to MRI. Benefits of central intake include reducing and smoothing MRI wait lists and reducing the number of duplicate referrals and missed appointments. Central intake will provide referring clinicians access to 11 MRI facilities through a single referral process.

Why are we moving to central intake?

MRI exams performed in lower mainland health authorities are currently booked through a decentralized model where referrals are sent to individual hospital sites. Each site manages its own MRI wait list and booking processes. MRI wait times vary considerably between lower mainland MRI facilities. There is limited ability within the current model to offer patients an earlier appointment at an alternate location. Decentralized intake and lack of visibility into MRI wait times has also led to duplicate referrals and missed appointments with some patients booked at multiple sites across the region.

What will be the impact on referring clinicians?

  • Central intake will provide referring clinicians with a central fax number to direct outpatient MRI referrals for 11 MRI sites across the lower mainland.

  • An updated regional MRI requisition will be introduced as part of the project. LMMI will explore opportunities with EMR vendors to support ease of use of the new requisition form.

  • Central intake will enable patients to be booked at the most appropriate lower mainland MRI site with the shortest wait time.

  • Referring clinicians will be able to indicate a preferred MRI site on the requisition if desired.

When will central intake be implemented?

The target timeframe for the MRI central intake office to begin receiving requisitions is late 2018.

For more information about this project, please contact:

SOURCE: Improving Access to MRI through Central Intake ( )
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